If you’re on a mission to eat healthy, cooking a traditional holiday meal for your family and friends can seem like a daunting task, tempting you at every taste. So why not do yourself (and your guests!) a favor and reinvent a few Christmas classics to put a healthy spin on the holidays!
Check out these four easy ways to offer healthier and even tastier holiday dishes that everyone is sure to love.
Use Fresh Green Beans Instead of Canned
Green bean casserole is a staple on many holiday tables, but the traditional way to prepare it calls for canned green beans and creamy canned soup. One easy way to healthify this Christmas classic is to swap out the canned beans for steamed fresh green beans. Not only do fresh green beans pack much more flavor than their canned counterparts, but they also do not contain the tremendous amounts of added salt that is found in canned vegetables. You can choose low-sodium cream of mushroom soup to cut down on the salt as well.
If you want to go even healthier, scrap the casserole altogether and prepare steamed or roasted fresh green beans with slivered almonds. Who knows, your friends and family might even start requesting the fresh twist on a holiday favorite more often!
Try Your Hand at Homemade Bread
Who doesn’t love the smell (and taste!) of homemade bread fresh out of the oven? Try making your own holiday bread or dinner rolls using whole wheat, rye, or spelt flour instead of white. These grains are packed full of nutrients and fiber, making them much healthier choices than white bread, which has little to no nutritional value.
If you have gluten-free guests coming, you could use almond or chickpea flour in place of grain-based flours in breads and baking.
Add an Apple Side Salad
For a burst of freshness and a welcome break from traditional heavy holiday sides like mashed potatoes and stuffing, try an apple and cranberry side salad. Not only are apples naturally sweet and tasty, but they also contain a plethora of healthy nutrients, like vitamin C, potassium and fiber. Cranberries are a powerhouse of antioxidants and may also help to lower blood pressure and improve heart health.
Bake a Crustless Pumpkin Pie
Indulge in a sweet treat that everyone can enjoy — but without the shortening and flour found in pie dough. While this works great for pumpkin or chocolate pies, you can also use this trick for fruit pies, adding a simple crumble on top for a crunch in place of a double pie crust.
Note that natural sweeteners like pure maple syrup, coconut sugar, or honey can be used to sweeten baked goods instead of refined white sugar.
Bonus: How to Stay Motivated to Lose Weight Over the Holidays
The holidays can be the trickiest time of year to stay on track to meet your fitness and weight loss goals. But there are ways to both indulge in holiday favorites and keep your healthy habits on track this season. Just of few of our favorite tips include:
- Remember your “why.” When cookies and cocktails are right in front of you, it’s easy to think only of the short-term indulgence and forget about your long-term goals. In these moments, remind yourself why you are on your fitness journey and what you hope to achieve well after the holidays have come and gone.
- Don’t put off exercise until after the holidays. During the hustle and bustle this time of year, many people decide to put their exercise efforts on hold until life slows down in January. Instead, carving out just 15 to 20 minutes a day for exercise can help you stay on track and de-stress during this often stressful time of year.
- Consider scheduling a fat-loss treatment like CoolSculpting or EMSCULPT for after the holidays. That way, you have an upcoming goal to shoot for in the near future and something exciting to look forward to to help keep you motivated and on track.
For more information about body contouring devices or to schedule your consultation today, contact us online or call our Boca Raton & Fort Lauderdale office at 561-462-0377.